Saturday, September 28, 2013

Old Man Dog

    I lost another of my furred housemates today. It was the funny Old Man Dog I have been fostering since I had to have my beloved Tonks put to sleep. He was a quirky, geriatric gentleman, and got along with everyone in the household. This morning, with no forewarning or foreshadowing, he went into a grand mal seizure, and it just did not end. It was a reminder of my solitude, as I cradled his head, unable to even get to my phone as I kept him from damaging himself. It was also a blunt reminder that my trauma is mine and not deemed high on the docket to anyone else,  it does not make me the center of the universe. There are so many times when I wish I could be rescued, but there is no one to rescue me but me. I so wanted someone to take charge, "fix" it, shoulder the burden of responsibility. Someone did, me. For the first hour or so, there was no possibility of transporting him by myself, the seizure was far too active. But then it slowed to over all body spasms. I was finally able to load him into my little pickup for the hour drive out to the shelter. Again, reminding me that I am not the center of the universe, I felt as if no one was hearing me when I was saying, "He has been in active seizure for over 2 hours," and "I have a dying dog in my truck." I knew I was taking him in to be euthanized, he was geriatric, with various health problems, and had been in full seizure for so long I knew he would not come out of it well. When someone asked, "Is he able to walk in?" I wanted to yell, "NO! he cannot walk. He is dying. He is not conscious." But I refrained. Again, my trauma is mine. So I went out, wrapped my arms around his quivering body, that seemed suddenly frail despite his 60+ pounds. Once we were inside, there was no doubt in anyone's mind what needed to be done, and it was taken care of quickly, efficiently, and with compassion. I kissed his wrinkled face, hoping he would at least be aware enough to know I loved him, and watched as he slipped away, to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I left. Walked to my truck, alone. Drove home, alone. And now sit, teary eyed, not alone, because my Hugo is with me. At least I have my lovable, goofball mutt. At least I am the center of his universe. I will miss the Old Man, he was sweet and loyal, loved me, and just wanted what we all want; a safe, comfortable life. I am glad I could give him that.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Well Earned Fatigue

    Exhausted. Drained. Hungry. Worn out. Exultant. Jubilant. Triumphant. Blissful. Life continues to hurtle me through time and space. Chronically short on sleep as I try to cram as much adventure, experience, living, loving, and laughter into the time I have. Today, The Firefighter Stairclimb, 41 flights up the Bancorp building in 60+ pounds of full bunker gear with battalions of firefighters from quite literally around the world. Of course, having opted for a wee bit too much fun yesterday, and not enough sleep last night, it was a tougher climb than it should have been. But that is the penalty I pay for my desire to make every waking hour count. Even if it means some of those waking hours really should be spent sleeping. I'll sleep when I'm dead, right? I do know that chronic lack of sleep can contribute to moments of near meltdown, but when that happens, I can look back, remembering the sights, sounds, emotions, and sensations of life that lead me to opt out of wasting time sleeping. Yeah, remind me of this sentiment next time I am whining about insecurities, loneliness, and other self-imposed, self-inflicted stupidities. Yes, I am sure I will have more than a few moments of frailty, I am only human after all, but most of these are echoes from my past, not realities of my present. There is a certain amount of wry amusement as I read recent posts and the underlying currents of self-flagellation. I know it is the change in the weather, encroaching winter, trepidation on my part as memories of the derangements of past winters encroach. Truly though, last winter was mellow, with my only source of chronic aggravation being my employment at the job from hell. Well, that has all changed. This year, for the first time in half a decade, I am heading into the grey days in a job that I love, with co-workers who are sane and amusing, and a boss who is appreciative. Not only is the job situation finally resolved, my personal life is on track, as a matter of fact, it is a major source of bliss. And add to all that, I am setting higher goals, reaching for the stars, the gold ring. So, exhausted, drained, hungry, worn out, and rightfully so. This is well earned fatigue, and I revel in the memories that caused it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Demons Be Damned

  Despite how glorious my life is, how blissed out I am, how strong, capable and independent I am, even I have my weak moments. Despite life changing achievements, life goals set and met, more goals and dreams on the horizon, even I can feel second best, unworthy. Despite knowing I am loved, cherished, desired, even I have moments when I feel alone, lonely, and unwanted. These moments come at unexpected times, blindsiding me. When my slumbering demons manage to stir, wake, and sneak up behind me to whisper in my ear. Yesterday was one of those days. I started to write, then stopped myself, ashamed, angry, frustrated. To have worked so hard, come so far, to still feel insecure. To allow self-flagellation, negative self thoughts, doubts. These are the self-pitying, mewling, unworthy words that I wrote yesterday, before stopping myself:
   "Why, oh why, is it so hard for me to stop feeling like the girl on the side, winner by default, second choice, a stopgap measure? Am I merely a pleasant diversion, a comfy way to pass the time, a dear friend, a buddy? Jebus, don't let me be a buddy. The buddy with boobs. That has been a moniker from the past, "like a guy buddy, but with boobs." I just can't seem to shake the deep rooted insecurity of a lifetime of these relationships. No, I don't think that I am presently in any of these degrading situations. So why can't I manage to step away from that particular baggage? I have been quite adept at shedding myself of many of my insecurities and doubts, but this is one area that seems to cling to me like a cobweb. How is it, even when I am faced with evidence to the contrary I still manage to flagellate myself with these doubts? Past experience. My track record is not great. As a matter of fact, it is quite dismal. Am I merely jaded?"
    Bah. Sometimes I amaze myself with my own insecurity, doubts, and what can amount to self loathing. Honestly, I don't know what dredges these feelings to the surface. I have been on an even keel of late, triumphant, delirious, blissful, even epic. So why the sudden gush of self-pity? I blame the change in the weather. It is as good an excuse as any. Maybe it is that I have accomplished my major event of the year, my big goal, and now, without the diligence of physical training, too much attention is turned inward. I do remind myself that everyone, and I mean everyone, has bad days. Days of doubt. "Fat days," if you will. Even those who seem to have it all still fall prey to whispers of their demons. The key here is to make sure the demons know that they can just go fuck themselves. There is no simpler way of putting it. The demons want to come out and play? Kick up a little dust? Toy with my delicately balanced sense of self? Get all up in my face? Fuck with my shit? Well then, gloves are off, I'm not going to put up with any of their shit right now. My life is too grand and glorious, epic and  amazing, fun and fantastic. I don't have time to spend weeping into my Wheaties, crying into my coffee. What a ridiculous waste of time and energy. So yesterday, after writing those pathetic lines, I left my fabulous job, got on my Harley, rode through the splendid autumn evening, swung by the fire station, breathed in the scent of the engine bays, headed home, wrassled the dog, worked out until the sweat was dripping off my chin, ate a grand, healthy dinner, and reminded myself that my life is amazing. Tonight I swam until my shoulders burned, ate a glorious dinner, peeled apples for pie to take to a fish fry tomorrow, planned out my crazy, fun filled weekend (firefighter stairclimb on sunday), and now am drooping with well earned fatigue. Demons be damned, I have no time for their carping. My life is too mind-blowingly astonishing to waste energy on insecurities. I love my life.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

More Stirrings

    More stirrings. Strange, yet familiar. A brief visit from my demons, just a few whispers, reminders, ticklings of self doubt. I felt them coming earlier in the day, but they always wait until I am tired, hungry, and have nothing to keep me busy and distracted. I did not allow them to follow me into the water, where I swam until exhaustion, and endorphins reconstructed my protective shield wall. A belly full of healthy food put the last bit of mortar in the hastily constructed repair. Mania has been propelling me forward, and innervating Brain and Body, but it is exhausting. I know I have to tend to my needs, keep the fortress secure, maintain my even keel. I know what to do, and how to do it. I keep my head high, eyes looking forward, set goals, push my body, extend myself, reach for the stars. I know what to do, know how to do it. No longer do my demons hold domain over me, though they do try to reassert control, sneak in if they think my defenses are weakened. But I know what needs to be done.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


    I am beginning to feel the stirrings of Mania. That itch behind the eyelids that makes sleep a rare commodity. On the one hand, I am hoping it is just that my workout schedule has been off the last few weeks as I was tapering for my big race last weekend, and then taking a few days of gentle training to let my abused body recover. This entire week sleep has been elusive, sporadic, intermittent, scarce. Under normal circumstance I would expect to be feeling the ill effects of sleep deprivation, instead I am feeling that all too familiar brain scrambling, innervating, bursting, creative, productive, life-on-speed lunacy that is always the charming upside of life as I know it. I have completely weened myself off of the sleep meds prescribed to me what seems a lifetime ago, when I was taking the scenic route through The Abyss. One might think this would have something to do with my recent visits into the land of long, restless nights. But actually, I tapered off, and stopped completely nearly a month ago. I confess, this last week of abysmal sleep has made me consider refilling my prescription. But no. I don't want to. I have also, long ago, quit taking the anti-depressants. They became totally unnecessary once I got my life on track, my emotional stability on solid ground, shed myself of heavy baggage from my past, kept my mind focused on my epic present, and my eyes looking ahead to my magnificent future. I am feeling more stable and grounded, unaided by meds, than I have in more than a decade. Some of it may be the bliss of my every day existence, some due to my arduous physical regimine, some to my carefully natural eating habits. Whatever it is, I am doing it right. I am healthier, happier, more balanced than I think I have ever been. So, even if Mania is starting to rear its head just a bit, I am pretty sure it is just a good time to get a lot of shit done. I'm not going to let myself worry about a possible future crash, Melancholy revisiting for old time's sake, or demons raising their shaggy heads. Mania is an old friend, a familiar, welcome companion. I say, bring it on, Mania, bring it on.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What I Imagine, I Become

    What we Think, we Create.

    What we Feel, we Attract.

    What we Imagine, we Become.

    For several weeks I have been mulling over a diatribe on choosing to be happy. A rant against those who allow themselves to be bitter, resentful, complaining, joyless, miserable. I had started and stalled several times. I realized why words faltered, there is no sense in railing against those who seem to choose miserable and morose over joyful and jovial. To throw bitter words into the morass does no good, helps no one, improves nothing.
    Instead, "What we Think, We Create. What we Feel, we Attract. What we Imagine, we Become." These words came up today, and were so very perfect. I believe this with all my heart to be truth in its purest form. We mold our emotional lives out of the tenuous filaments of our own imaginings. Strand by gossamer strand, slowly creating the fabric of life. We choose who we become. It goes far beyond Nature or Nurture. We can choose to unshackle ourselves from our past and step boldly into whatever future we desire.
    I choose to not allow my life to be defined by my past. Yes, it has shaped me into the person I am today, and for that, I am grateful for every minute. Instead, I am trying to live in the moment, in the now. To appreciate the magic of every day life, as well as the magic of each new experience, each grand adventure. I am experiencing the joy of my day to day existence, and reveling in the wonders that present themselves. I am living in the moment, but also looking ahead, choosing paths that will lead me into continued contentment. More frequently I find myself moving through the day in a state of peaceful bliss. Yes, I backslide, have moments of doubt, fears, insecurities. My demons do stir on occasion, whispering in my ear, attempting to bring me down from this near perpetual high. But I choose to ignore them, just as I choose to find my bliss.
    I also choose to not allow my happiness to be defined by others. Yes, there are those in my life that bring me absolute joy. Family, new friends and old, that are cherished, loved, and contribute mightily to a life of bliss. These are the people I choose to have in my life. But my happiness is not dependent on any one person. My happiness is my own. I accept full responsibility for it.
    What I Think, I Create. I think long and hard about my happiness, joy, bliss, and peace. And I have created a life that is near to overflowing with all that is sweet and right.
    What I Feel, I Attract. I feel love, acceptance, understanding, compassion, passion, exuberance, glee, wonderment, excitement, peace, bliss. And by the threefold rule, what I send out into the Universe comes back to me threefold, this is manifesting daily.
    What I Imagine, I Become. Or as I have said for over 30 years, "You are what you pretend to be..." I imagined that I am loved, independent, successful in the ways that truly matter, healthy beyond reason, athletic, confident, a free spirit, an unstoppable force, the whirlwind. And just look where that has taken me. Where will it take me from here? I can only imagine.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dropping The Reins

    Caught on the cusp between no holds barred, balls to the wall, full speed ahead, ride the whirlwind, and haul the reins, armor up, protect the vitals, tactical retreat. I have been told that I "never do anything by halves," and it is true. I seem to have two gears; fast forward, and reverse. Try as I might, I can never seem to find the middle ground. I am Leap Before I Look Girl, often to my detriment, dismay, and damage. Impetuous, impulsive, mercurial, quixotic, headlong, reckless, imprudent. It is a sure fire way to get myself neck deep in trouble of one kind or another. Rash and heedless. The fool to rush in where angels fear to tread. The internal struggles that this brings about are prodigious, and mind-bending. As my Nature tries to propel me forward with glorious recklessness, my oft ignored logical side steps forward in a vain attempt to prevent cataclysmic devastation. Yes, we have been down that road often enough. By now, it is a well traveled, familiar path. One would think that by now I would know every rock, pothole, and washout, but I am surprised by its altered topography every time.
    In a sense it is Nature Versus Nurture. My Nature is to be the whirlwind, race ahead pell-mell, let my emotions and excitement carry me away, put me in harms way. But it is my Nurturing side, my logical side, that attempts to protect me from myself, shelter me from the ravages of the world around me, tries to build armor around the trust and naivete that is my Achilles's Heel. That is the crux, my trust and naivete. I am inclined to take everyone and everything at face value, believe what I am told, trust. For as often as I have been proven wrong, I cannot break free of the habit of trust. I can't step back and cry "bullshit." I believe, and trust with tragic, wide-eyed innocence that is unwise, and unseemly for one my age. This is why I have been told to "grow up," and that, "the world will beat that out of you," and this was by one I trusted. But no matter how I try to convince myself that it will lead me down another path of desolation and devastation, I continue to trust, believe, keep the faith. I have also been told that I lead with my heart, am "loyal to a fault," and "have a hero's heart." Hero? I would wish for Bedivere of dark magic and fearsome lance, but instead I am Parcival, the Fool. Although, truth be told, in the story of Parcival, in his darkest despair he wandered the woods, finally dropping the reins and allowing his horse to take him where it pleased. It took him to the Holy Grail. Maybe, just maybe, the lesson to be learned is to let go of the reins, stop trying to control my nature, and let it take me where it will. No quest is complete without pitfalls, traps, battles to save fair maidens, wrestling with demons, egregious betrayal, grievous injury, and eventual triumph. Oh, that I could find the balance between hell bent for leather, and merely dropping the reins. But it is a leap of faith, an act of trust, and trust I can do.